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Chelsea players hail Didier Drogba

Gary Cahill admitted it was strange to play against former team-mate and Chelsea legend Didier Drogba as the Blues beat the Ivorian's Galatasaray side to progress to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Stamford Bridge joined in unison on Tuesday to hail Didier Drogba, and Chelsea players also spoke kindly of the star striker.

Drogba returned with Galatasaray after scoring 157 goals in 341 appearances for the Blues, including the decisive penalty in the 2012 European Cup final win in Munich.

John Terry said he was glad Didier Drogba had a chance to play at Stamford Bridge again.

Brewin: Who needs Drogba?

Eden Hazard is swiftly inheriting the title of Chelsea's attacking talisman which once belonged to Drogba, who is now 36.

"As I said to him after the game finished, it was a pleasure to play against him," the Belgium playmaker said.

"He is still one of the best strikers in the world. It is true that he is no longer young but that's how we young players learn -- by meeting people like him.

"I have nothing but respect for what he has done and what he is still doing. I admire Didier for the player he is and the type of person he is."

Except for a pre-match presentation and hitting the banner bearing his name in the stands with a wayward free-kick, Drogba was largely anonymous in a Galatasaray performance labelled disappointing by manager Roberto Mancini.

It was a far cry from the Drogba seen in his eight-year spell in blue.

The Ivory Coast striker addressed Chelsea's in-house TV channel afterwards alongside Blues captain John Terry.

"It was good, a lot of emotions and a tough game, with good players and good people," Drogba said. "I was really happy to come back here."

Terry added to Chelsea TV: "He deserved the send off and, after what happened in Munich, I think it's nice for him to come back and for the fans to do what they did and show how much we love him."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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